West Side’s Biggest Loser aims to promote health
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 29, 2013 | 2553 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NEWMAN — It was all in good-natured fun as West Side teams in the Biggest Loser contest traded barbs and weighed-in in Newman on Thursday, Aug. 22, aiming to shed pounds for better health.

The teams — hailing from the towns of Patterson, Newman, and Gustine — participated in the Westside Health Care Advisory Task Force’s fifth annual Healthy Choices Summit at the Westside Theatre in Newman. The task force goal was to bring more medical services to the West Side while promoting healthy lifestyles, exercise and ways to stay energetic. More than 100 people attended the event.

The seven teams, with 10 members per team, will strive in the next couple of months to shed the weight and work on a healthy lifestyle.

Besides the team weigh-ins, boxed lunches were provided for participants and David Eibling, MD from Health Plan of San Joaquin spoke about staying fit and eating right. Also, information booths at the summit included Golden Valley Health, Del Puerto Health Care District and Center for Human Services among other affiliates in Patterson’s local government, such as the Parks and Recreation Department.

Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim De Martini for District five said Thursday that everything was going smoothly and was well organized.

“It’s going well — It’s our fifth time around so we know what we’re doing,” DeMartini said. “We’ve got a good program, a good message. The three cities, the school districts, and the West Side communities are working together to promote a healthier lifestyle.”

Laura Elkinton, Center for Human Services program manager, said the turnout for the summit was wonderful.

“It’s a great event here on the West Side and it brings awareness to our community,” Elkinton said.

Teams include City of Patterson, City of Gustine and City of Newman Team 1 and Team 2, Patterson Joint Unified School District, Patterson Health and Fitness and Stable Living Day Program of Newman.

Sheree Lustgarten, Patterson City Councilwoman and weight-loss participant, was accompanied by her daughter.

“I’m on a team because I had to have knee surgery, which made me gain weight because I didn’t exercise,” Lustgarten said. “I want to lose it and be healthy again.”

Patterson Mayor Luis Molina, who has lost 37 pounds over the past few years, is captain of his team. Molina said he signed up because his team is the defending champions and they have to lead by example.

“Not only do I want to lead a healthy life, but hopefully motivate our team members and our community to do the same,” Molina said during the program. “I’m going to challenge you all to be better advocates for better health and pass it to young people.”

The healthy lifestyle message is being brought to West Side schools through an annual art contest and essay contest for students in Gustine, Newman and Patterson.

Bruce Kelly, volunteering for children as a Patterson Joint Unified School district trustee, weighed in with the local district’s team.

“It's one of the high priority goals of the district to promote the wellness of its students — that’s why the district has a team,” Kelly said. .

The Westside Health Care Advisory Task Force’s Biggest Loser weigh-out will weigh-out at the Patterson School District office, 510 Keystone Blvd. on Thursday, Oct. 17. The 10-member team who loses the most weight get bragging rights for the rest of the year.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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